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Ghost Lights Quartet, featuring Benoît Delbecq

  • 8East 8 East Pender Street Vancouver, BC, V6A 3V6 Canada (map)

Doors 3
Music 4
$20– $10 PWYC


Benoit Delbecq Piano
François Houle Clarinet
Kenton Loewen Drums
Gordon Grdina Guitar/ Oud

“The threesome navigated through a wider landscape of sound with meandering lyrical passages,
encircling eerie plateaus and sudden about-turns into wild abysses triggering raucous rides and ac-
cumulation of sound that went hazy and eventually dissolved...” – Henning Bolte, AllAboutJazz, (reviewing a performance of Grdina/Houle/Loewen at Jazztopad 2016)

But when they added Benoît Delbecq the music became something else again. François Houle explains: “As Benoît and I were looking at opportunities for the duo [established in 1996], Ken Pickering [Vancouver jazz festival artistic director] suggested wemerge this with the trio collective [formed in 2014]. Knowing how Benoît’s playing fits into so many different configurations,
I thought this would work nicely. I suggested he bring his bass station to augment the lower end of the quartet.” Two perfor- mances at the 2015 festival led to a return engagement in 2016 followed by a day in the studio. “The whole session unfolded quite spontaneously, with hardly any discussion between takes. Gord suggested we play my piece ‘Soro’ as he knew Benoît’s af-finity for African rhythms in his piano approach. Benoît brought out “Broken World”, written shortly after the terrorist attack atthe Bataclan in Paris. The rest was completely improvised, and took us into the most unexpected musical spaces, with generous room for all to participate in the music making.”

So this is music that takes its time, as Benoît notes: “It’s music with slow motion, with nothing spectacular or demonstrative.But delicate...We let the flow of improvisation be at play and it held us in a creative mode...I think the strength comes from thecollective aspect of the craft. This is why I play music – to share some states of grace with my peers; it’s an incredible feeling to experience a common way to conceive sound fabrics collectively.” François agrees: “It speaks to the really broad scope of experiences by this collective. We can move from one musical state to the next with seemingly little effort, while trusting that the others will not only anticipate the next move, but also pave the way for this to happen at any given moment.”